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Annual General Meeting

A short history of the formation of the 277th Birmingham Scout Group

 

Earlier this year we had a letter from a gentleman by the name of J Godfrey Mason. He sent us a document that outlined how the group was formed. We thought it would be nice to reproduce it here to mark our 70th anniversary.

 

 “In 1927, the church Deacons decided that some kind of activity should be organised for the boys of the church. They chose the Boys Brigade, and a demonstration meeting was held in August 1927. The church was a very old building in part of the wall of Rubery Hill Hospital, near the tram terminus on the Birmingham boundary.

 

In September of 1927, the inaugural meeting was held and some 20 local boys including myself as an 11 year old, with Olly Smith as Captain and Jack Coterill and Jack Wise as assistants, both World War 1 veterans. We all signed up as members and the company continued until 1931. We had moved HQ to the new church in Whetty Lane in 1929, and met in the Sunday school hall.

 

In 1931, I was the only one from the original members of the company who attended a meeting called by the Minister Rev W Roach-Hier, plus 3 younger boys. Mr Hier told us that no replacement Leader could be found and so the company could not carry on.

 

However, he told us that a young man, a Rover Scout, had recently moved to the area and had offered to run a Scout Troop. Being the oldest one, at 15 years, I was the one to make a decision and, as I was keen to carry on a Uniformed Organisation, I proposed that we give it a try. I had friends in the “Austins Own” Lickey Scout Group, so had some idea of what it was all about. In September 1931, the first meeting was held and some 28 boys turned up and so, 277th Birmingham (Rubery Congregational Church) had started. A Cub Pack quickly followed and the registration confirmed on April 1 1932.

 

Over the next seven to eight years, we had become a full Group with Wolf Cub Pack, Junior Scouts, Senior Scouts and Rover Scouts. With the resignation of the Group Scout Leader in 1937 we, as a Rover Crew, ran the Group and selected Tom Stevenson as GSL (he was the father of one of the Scouts).

 

Then in 1938 the Wolf Cub Leader was called up by the National Militia and in due course, our Rover crew lost members to the armed forces. Fortunately, the Group continued in a rather skeleton format, but by 1944, we were back in business and I became the GSL in 1945.

In 1953 I left for Northern Ireland where I joined a rather run-down Group as GSL in Bangor, returning to England in 1958 where I started a new Scout Group in Lillington, Leamington Spa, a Group I am still attached to as Chairman/President.

 

I attended your 50th and 60th celebrations in 1981 and 1991 where I was pleased to meet 3 members of the start of Rubery Congregational and some of the Scouts I had in Scouts those years ago.” 

 

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